TheGodBen Revisits Deep Space Nine

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by TheGodBen, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. defiantfan

    defiantfan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    O'Brien shows his funny side in "StoryTeller", I like the episode for its tidbit about Odo and the bucket as well.

    However, it might be a stretch but I kind of blame this episode on that M. Night movie about the evil creatures the town has to unite against in order to save them from reality. I'm not entirely sure why the concept bothers me.
     
  2. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    ^ The Village?

    I've never seen that one, but if it's anything like The Storyteller, I might have to pass.
     
  3. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "The Storyteller" was horrendous as an episode--though the Bashir-O'Brien interaction was classic.

    I did at least manage to get some mileage out of it for part of the background work of my fanfic, though. Needless to say I did not portray what the Sirah did as a good thing. It was manipulative and in my opinion cruel.

    Admiral Shran: The Village is absolutely horrible. That said, the film score is well worth purchasing; the solo violinist is incredibly good.
     
  4. Sean_McCormick

    Sean_McCormick Captain Captain

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    defiantfan, you do realise, that that movie came out 11 years after the episode?
     
  5. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I agree that a people living through a hostile occupation by a bunch of aliens wouldn't really need a boogie monster to get them to play nice with each other. I thought this was a pretty bad episode.
     
  6. TheGodBen

    TheGodBen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Progress (****)

    Since Temis described this thread as educational, I thought I'd give you young whipper-snappers (most of whom are probably older than me) a history lesson:

    Evictions play an emotional role in Irish history, particularly during the notorious potato famine when people that were literally starving to death were evicted from their homes. The right for tenant farmers to own their own homes played a big part of the nationalist movement here in the late 19th century. Once Ireland achieved independence, the first major project the Free State undertook was the construction of the Shannon Scheme, a hydroelectric power station that was intended to be large enough to power most of the country. It was one of the largest engineering projects in the world at the time, constructed by Siemens and involving predominantly German engineers, and it was the largest hydroelectric dam anywhere until the Hoover Dam was completed the following decade. Part of the reason why the project was so big was that they couldn't use the the actual river to build the dam on, they created an alternate route parallel to the original river, about 15km long, through rural farmland. There are obvious environmental issues with this, salmon levels in that stretch of the river are still well below what they used to be, but there's also the question of the people that lived along the route of that new water channel. You have to imagine that some people had to be moved from their homes, and I imagine quite a few of them weren't happy about it. I wonder how the police officers and soldiers, some of whom probably served in the IRA during the War of Independence, must have felt when overseeing the eviction process. The homeowners would probably have been compensated monetarily, unlike the evictions of old, but some of the officers must have wondered if this new Irish government were any better than the British one.

    I appreciate that people don't read these reviews for boring history lessons, but rather for my weird yet crappy photoshops. So, as a reward, here's a picture of what it would like like if Community did a DS9 spoof episode:

    [​IMG]

    Forgive me? Good.

    My point was that this episode feels real to me, even if it is about aliens and moons. This is an issue that has probably come up in every country that achieved independence from another, the fact that some messy things need to be done no matter who is in change, and some people that are so focused on achieving independence don't plan for the realities that await once it is achieved. Kira's problem is one that I can relate to, and it's one with no easy solution, she just has to hope that she's doing the right thing and that the benefits of this project will outweigh the harm it has caused. I also like Mullibok, even if the writer's intention was that I wasn't supposed to. I liked him because he's a stubborn, manipulative son of a bitch, which are qualities that I recognise in myself.

    The problem with this episode is really more of a technical one. Destroying the ecosystem of an M-class world seems like an awfully high price to pay just to heat a couple of hundred thousand homes. For that sort of sacrifice you'd expect much greater returns, perhaps even enough energy to power half of Bajor. But I guess it's possible that the writers didn't want to make it too easy for Kira to justify her decision at the end of the episode and they wanted it to be more morally ambiguous.

    The b-story follows Nog and Jake as they navigate their way through the Great Material Continuum. It's a relatively fun diversion from the heavy a-story and a better use of the characters than in the previous episode. I could criticise it if I want to, but I don't.
     
  7. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    I agree with those that say the premise of The Storyteller was poorly thought out. Were these Bajorans somehow different to the ones we had seen starting to recover from 60 years of occupation? Perhaps the occupation wasn't really that brutal, and therefore didn't unite the Bajorans? And then, perhaps, after all of this, only mighty O'Brien can come in and save the day with his stories? :wtf:

    I mean I like the guy, but seriously? :eek:

    What stops this episode from bring ranked amongst the dreck season one is the Bashir/O'Brien interplay. It's so funny seeing the start of the great Julian and Miles relationship. Them not getting along at the start was played for laughs well, and their relationship would gradually develop to the point where it hurt a lot for them to be seperated. Their appearance together here stops the audience from totally giving up.

    EDIT: The pic is brilliant! :lol: I forgot that DS9 and Community did a very special episode crossover. :o

    Progress is a good episode that I'd forgotten existed, and is yet another reason why I love Kira and Bajor so much in the early years. Kira was put in the thankless position of having to move Mullibok, who wants to die where he lives. It was very poignant for Kira to realise how she had pretty much become what she had been fighting in the resistence, which is excellent viewing.

    Kira resolves herself to help Mullibok build his kiln, which helps to give him some closure. But then she destroys it, which had me particularly open-mouthed. I couldn't believe it. There's some really good stuff in this essentially quiet episode.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  8. BlueStuff

    BlueStuff Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Progress.

    I'm not sure if we were supposed to like the guy or not, frankly. I did not. Get the hell off the planet, you!

    Nice photoshop, TheGodBen. Any chance of a The Wire one in the near future?

    Looking back, the first season is really bad. When first I watched I didn't notice much because I didn't know just how good the show would eventually get. But even then some episodes were enough to reduce me to a curled up, weeping wreck.
     
  9. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    I agree with the general sentiment of the thread so far: all else aside, what makes Progress much better than The Storyteller is the way it uses Bajor - not as a planet-of-the-week with the rather moronic and petty local troubles (which is TNG all over, much as I love TNG) - but as a wounded planet with serious global issues that's in the process of making hard decisions about what its independence is going to look like. It's an interesring comparison between the episodes' handling of the setting, and Progress is the contender that both truly understands the potential of that setting and offers a serious, respectful portrayal of Bajorans as a troubled people.

    EDIT: Oh, and it was about time we got another Kira-centric episode. One of the show's best characters - if not the best - and who I often thought could do with a little more First Season attention than she got. I suppose my (justified or not?) perception of her underuse also reinforces how Season 1 often focuses on technobabble wacky science mysteries or other lower tier TNG matter rather than fully appreciating DS9's unique potential.
     
  10. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Commodore Commodore

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    Oh I loved the guy, for the record. I just couldn't dislike him. I was totally in Kira's shoes there, because she got quite close to him. Though obviously in the end, not too close.
     
  11. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Had rough time keeping on track...wound up shifting to season 7 Partly because my wife wanted to see Ezri Dax episodes and partly because the season 1 eps were more boring than I'd remembered...oh well.

    RAMA
     
  12. Distorted Humor

    Distorted Humor Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I enjoy progress a lot, it has a lot to go for it. Then again, I am a evil land use planner who had to go on to people property and take junk off and so on. So I feel Kira's pain.

    (Should throw in a sexist pig comment that I would feel other things, but I am not going to)
     
  13. Shatnertage

    Shatnertage Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm partial to people forced off their land by eminent domain, particularly for sketchy reasons, so count me in the "anti" group on Progress.

    I've never seen Community (I guess it's a TV show?), but I'd love to see not one, but several photoshops from The Wire.
     
  14. BlueStuff

    BlueStuff Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's all in the game, players.

    SISKO: Beat it, shitbirds!
     
  15. Sykonee

    Sykonee Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    RE: Storyteller

    Is it not possible that there are some really, really, really, really backwoods Bajorans? Like, their version of Bushmen or New Guinea tribes? Or hell, even Amish?
     
  16. flemm

    flemm Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't know that Kira can really be said to be underused in season one, though most of her episodes are at the beginning and the end of the season... Past Prologue, Progress, Duet. And she's prominent in Battle Lines and In the Hands of the Prophets as well.

    Actually what stands out to me is how much better, generally speaking, the Kira/Bajor episodes are than anything else on the show at this point, with the exception of Quark/Odo banter, which is sprinkled throughout.

    That's probably why the writers went with a similarly themed mini-arc for the beginning of season two.
     
  17. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    I like Progress but it has one huge problem for me. That is, I honestly don't know what to make of the character of Mullibok. If the writers' intention was to make me dislike him than "mission accomplished" because I can't stand the guy. However, while watching the episode, I honestly get the impression that we are, in fact, supposed to like him - that we're meant to see him as a cranky, curmudgeonly guy we can recognize. I don't see that at all. There's a fine line between being a loveable curmudgeon (Archie Bunker or Al Bundy) and downright being a prick. Mullibok crosses that line, IMHO. So, in the end, I'm left confused as whether to root for him or Kira.

    Now, that being said, the episode offers up some stuff that I could really sink my teeth into (in a good way). Given my political leanings, the idea of a guy being forcibly thrown out of his home which he built with own two hands for reasons which don't affect him by his own government is something I could get passionate about. However, from a storytelling standpoint, it all depends on my liking Mullibok, and I don't.

    The ultimate saving grace here that rises the episode to "above average" is it's development of Kira, as others have already pointed out. God bless TPTB for putting one of our heroes in a no-win situation and letting it be. I might not agree with forcing a man out of his home, but it does make for good storytelling.
     
  18. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think that's the whole point of Mullibok. His situation is one where we instinctively want to sympathize with, to want to see some way for Kira to find the third option. Since there wasn't going to be one, if they'd gone and made him completely likeable and sympathetic, we'd see Kira as the bad guy in the end, and that's not a place that they were ready to send one of the stars of the show at this point. So by making him a prick, he loses some of the sympathy that the audience feels towards him because of his situation and is more willing to see Kira's side.
     
  19. Admiral Shran

    Admiral Shran Admiral Admiral

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    That's understandable. But I still think they went overboard with making him a jerk. If it had been toned down to the point where he was a likeable curmudgeon like Archie Bunker or Al Bundy, the episode would work much better for me. He would be likeable some of the time, allowing us to want Kira to find that third option. However, he'd also be unlikeable some of the time, allowing us to somewhat forgive Kira for burning down his house and evicting him.

    As it stands, I don't like him any of the time and that's the problem. I should feel at least some sympathy for the man (as I said, a man getting kicked out of his own house should illicit some tender feelings in me, especially when it's his own government that's doing it to him). Instead, a large part of me is happy when Kira torches all his belongings and kicks his ass off to Bajor.

    Now, take Bunker and Bundy - they're both sexist, bigoted, superficial scumbags. But they both have redeeming qualities. For example, they are both utterly devoted to their families and will willingly walk through fire for them. I remember one episode of All in the Family where Archie, despite all his troubles with Meathead, doesn't even bat an eye when he needs help paying some medical bills - Meathead is family and so Archie supports and helps him without a second thought. And all through Married with Children, Al is constantly coming to his family's rescue and defending their honor, even though they all treat each other like dirt. Mullibok needed some qualities like that.
     
  20. Kinggodzillak

    Kinggodzillak Commander Red Shirt

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    I seem to remember reading somewhere that Brian Keith took a dislike to Nana Visitor, so maybe that resentment crept into the performance somewhat...